Big concessions for new small bar

The original name Hopscotch was ditched after an objection from local community group No Alcohol Near Schools.

The Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor agreed with the group that a bar should not be named after a children�s game, particularly given its close proximity to the school.

South Perth resident Jackie Hair said No Alcohol Near Schools formed after concerns about the normalisation of alcohol consumption in children�s lives

�We are concerned that having a bar right next to a school will send the wrong message to the young students who will pass the bar on their way home from school, and to after-school and weekend activities,� Mrs Hair said.

The group petitioned the Premier and other MPs recently, aiming to prevent approval of licensed premises within 500m of schools.

Maylands MP Lisa Baker took the issue on board and tabled the petition in Parliament last week, saying growing brains did not need alcohol.

The owners of the bar said they had gone to great lengths to ensure minimal impact on neighbours.

�We are acutely aware of the responsibility we have to our closest neighbours and also to Wesley College across the road,� owner Luke Matkovic said.

As part of the 15-month planning and application process, the owners initiated several harm-minimisation measures.

Those include no external advertising or sale of alcohol products, and no alfresco drinking area.

Students in school uniform would also not be permitted to enter the premises even if they were of legal drinking age.

Business partner and co-owner Brett Nichols said while there had been some objections, there had also been a great deal of support for the new venue.

Wesley College told the Southern Gazette they preferred not to comment.